RFA Asks EPA to Prioritize E15 Over RIN Reform

Cindy Zimmerman

With the government shutdown threatening to further delay approval of year-round sales of E15, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to focus first on rulemaking for year-round E15 provisions and wait to address RIN reform measures in a separate action. With just 133 days remaining before the summertime prohibition on E15 sales begins, RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says EPA is running out of time to propose, seek comment on, and finalize a rule allowing year-round E15 sales.

“Finalizing the year-round E15 rulemaking no later than May 31 will take a Herculean effort,” Cooper wrote in a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler last week. “Therefore, we respectfully request that EPA bifurcate the rulemaking into two separate actions, moving forward immediately on the year-round E15 provisions and considering RIN reform in a subsequent and secondary actio

The letter notes that, unlike the year-round E15 provisions, there is no deadline by which RIN reform measures must be finalized in order to allow fair and efficient operation of the market. “While we support efforts to bring more transparency to the RIN market, there is no urgency to move forward quickly with RIN reform provisions,” according to the letter. “This is particularly true as the previous uproar from refiners about ‘high RIN costs’ has been reduced to a murmur as RIN prices have collapsed to historic lows.”

During a hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on his nomination to take the job of administrator, Wheeler confirmed the agency’s commitment to getting a rule on year-round E15 out in time for the summer driving season, as long as the partial government shutdown ends soon.

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